Culinary History,  Drinks,  Food History,  History,  Holidays

A Brief History of Our Favorite Alcohols

There are as many different alcohols as there are people to invent them 🙂 But today we are going to take a look at some of the most ancient forms of alcohol. There are many more alcohols out there like whiskey, rum, sake, vodka, tequila and the like, but these that I have featured here are the oldest forms of alcohol that have been consistently made for hundreds of years.

Wine – Wine is most likely one of the oldest alcoholic drinks. The making and drinking of wine stretches back into ancient times all the way to Noah in the Bible and the ancient peoples who first lived in the Middle East. Wine was so highly prized in the Greek and Roman worlds that anyone who didn’t drink it was thought of as a barbarian. Made from grapes that are different than table or eating grapes, wine grapes are often smaller and have a more concentrated flavor and juice content.

Beer – Along with wine, beer is one of the oldest alcoholic drinks out there. Barley beer was first made by the ancient Egyptians. It continued to be made through the centuries and at one point was considered safer to drink then water. Even children were given it to drink though it was a watered down version. Know as a grain alcohol, beer can also be made from wheat, corn or oats.

Cider – Alcoholic drinks made from fruits other than grapes were often referred to as “ciders”. The ciders could be made from apples or they could be made from berries, peaches, pears or other fruit. Ciders were more popular in the colder regions of Europe as it was hard to grow grapes in the shorter growing season. Hard apple ciders are the most popular now days. 

Mead  – Made from fermented honey, this alcoholic drink is not as popular today as it was in the past. Made mainly in the ancient European cultures, honey was easier to come by then sugar. Some meads were made into more medicinal or herbal drinks with the addition of herbs and spices. 

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